2006 Christmas Challenge
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  1. #1
    Tina Bob
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    Talking 2006 Christmas Challenge

    After bumping up last year’s thread, I was excited to see others wanting to join a new challenge this year. I found it very helpful to keep posting to the thread and keep myself accountable. I would like to try this again this year.

    Walking into Costco on Friday and seeing the bedlam, I was reminded how much I dislike shopping in December. For me, all the craziness and panic in the stores makes me loss the joy of the season. I so enjoyed the peacefulness last year of not having to Christmas or grocery shop. So here’s to another tranquil Christmas season

    I haven’t done much planning done yet but I thought I’d start this thread as some of you seem to be much further ahead then I am. Whoever is interested can post their goals and progress here in this year’s thread. I look forward to reading them.

    I’ll add my goals as soon as I have them figured out.

  2. #2
    Tina Bob
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    This past years has brought changes in our family. Two of my children have moved out; into different cities. In some ways this challenge should be easier for me yet in other ways it may be harder.

    My two boys were the big eaters in the house and so now, everything last way longer besides the back we don’t go through as much food as before. So in that way, I don’t need to buy as much. On the other hand, both boys are coming home for Christmas and I am the sappy mom who wants to spoil them while they’re home; not so much with gifts but with all the food and goodies they like. That being said, I will have a hard time sticking to my budget and not going overboard. I want this to be a wonderful Christmas because it may be the last year we will all be together for the holidays.

    My goals are pretty much the same as last year….

    To stick to my budget!!!!
    To be finished Christmas shopping for all gifts including stocking stuffers by Nov 30th.
    To menu plan for the rest of Nov as well as the month of December.
    To plan all Christmas baking for my family as well as all I will use for gifts
    To make a list of all grocery and other needs needed till the end of Dec and all baking supplies.
    Gear up for a huge shop and hide certain foods so no one will eat them before I need them. Last year I put stickers on the foods that were allotted for baking or cooking .

    More to come…..

  3. #3
    Registered User pkellyc's Avatar
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    I have been working on getting my shopping done by Thanksgiving but it's not going to happen. So the first of December is my new goal. I really can't stand the chaos of December myself. I would love to have everything done so that if I choose to shop in December it would be for the fun of it instead of the mad dash for last minute gifts.

    I know some of you shop all year but I prefer to start shopping in October so it's sort of in the season. As far as groceries I have started stocking up on baking supplies but I have been eating out my freezer so I will have to stock up soon.

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  5. #4

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    My first challenge is to make fourteen swags for my verandah. Like everything else I plan it is taking a lot longer than I expected even though they are very simple. Have one done and up - only thirteen to go. My goal is to have them all done and up by Sunday.

  6. #5
    Registered User my4littlebuffaloes's Avatar
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    - Well, the #1 goal would be to stay within my budget
    - #2 make the 2 calendars for our parents, I scrapbook them and it always seems to take forever
    - stockpile on all the great food sales going on in the next few weeks
    - this isn't really Christmas, but both my sister and sister in law are having babies in December. I am making baby quilts for them and have to get those done as well as the regular Christmas stuff
    - really cut back on gifts for the kids and dh, we just don't have the money this year

  7. #6

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    We usually do pretty good with the budget.
    My number 1 goal would be to be done with shopping by the beginning of December. I've already done some & dh is doing the "black friday" thing. He usually makes out good.

  8. #7
    Registered User tlenad's Avatar
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    Goals for Christmas 2006.

    1. Stick to $300 before Christmas Budget and $100 after Christmas Budget. (I am planning on picking up a few things for next year and buying one gift for this year as both my cousin and I decided we would rather wait for the after Christmas sales to get gifts for each other.)

    2. Actually have all my Christmas shopping except for said gift done by Dec 18th.

    3. Have all wrapping done by Dec 20th.


    Other than that just relax and have a nice Christmas with those I care about and figure out what movie all of us are going to on Christmas night. My cousin's and I go as a group and have for several years. It's a fun tradition.

    Oh and try not to eat too much and wind up being miserable because of it.

  9. #8
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    Well I have some pretty basic goals...

    1) set budget. Dh doesn't like to do this, so I'm on my own. I already have to commit $50 to dh's present. DD#2 went ahead with something I hadn't planned on contributing to at all...to the tune of $200. I'll cover a part of it, but I'm not excited about it. I'll pick up some clothes for dh from the clothing budget otherwise. Maybe make some candy and nuts for him. Will share a gift for dd#1 and sil with dh. Already have dd#2's gift. I'm hoping gifts come in under $200 right now.

    2) Changing Christmas and New Year's menus to more affordable fare. I'd wanted to do a fondue for New Year's, but we don't have the equipment, dh isn't that excited over it, and it's off my diet anyways. So best to think of something else. We usually do tortiere, but that has onion in it and I am really reacting to onions these days. I'm thinking of something else...maybe the traditional ham or turkey.

    3) Pulled together the address list for Christmas cards. In fact, all our addresses from 3 different places. Need to update them and make sure I have everyone. Next is to find the cards and see how many I need to buy. I was going to make them, but didn't have time this year. They will have to be out by the end of November.

    4) Polished the silver. Next step is to check the linens before the end of the month.

    5) Have a few gifts to make, and wrap and send. But they won't get worked on until after the 25th. It will be a challenge to see if I can get them done. Need to stitch two hardanger doilies and sew a quilt...in one week!

    6) Slowly catching up on housework here. Gradually taking each room and deep cleaning it. Should be company ready come Christmas.

  10. #9
    Tina Bob
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    I'm so happy to see others joining me! I love reading of how you all are accomplishing your goals.

    Here's my 48 days of dinners in no particular order:

    lazy lasagna casserole, raw veggies
    teriyaki chicken toss, rice
    sweet & tangy chicken thighs, baked potato broccoli
    beef enchilada casserole, tomato avocado salad
    saucy simmered chops, rice, carrots
    penne pasta with italian gigi sauce, caesar salad
    meatloaf, stuffed potatoes, green beans
    crunchy chicken, scalloped potatoes, peas & carrots
    harvest chili, rice
    chicken burritos, raw veggies
    pizza
    chinese beef stir fry, rice
    taco soup, bread sticks
    ham, scalloped potatoes, broccoli
    spaghetti & meat sauce (2x)
    ham & broccoli quiche
    hamburger stew, cheese biscuits
    baked salmon, hash brown casserole, steamed zucchini, peppers, and onions
    shake and bake chicken, roasted potato wedges, carrots, cauliflower
    chicken chow mein
    beef & barley soup, w/w bread
    corn chowder, buns
    spanish potato omelette
    pancakes
    potato pancakes, turkey sausages, applesauce
    cream of broccoli soup, ham and cheese muffins
    tuna burgers, oven fries
    sweet and sour chicken with peppers and pineapple, rice
    marzetti, cole slaw
    hamburger patties, alfredo pasta, frozen veggies
    pizza fondue
    hamburger gravy, mashed potatoes, green and yellow beans
    lemony salmon, baked potato, carrots
    deer roast, roasted sweet potatoes and carrots
    homemade hamburger helper using leftover deer roast, frozen corn
    sausages, rice cream corn, fried onions and mushrooms
    chicken caesar salad, buns
    broccoli and cheese sauce filled potatoes
    chinese chicken, rice, carrot & raisin salad
    chicken hurry, baked potato, broccoli or carrots
    barbecue meatballs, boiled potato, broccoli, cauliflower
    scalloped meatball casserole
    shrimp fettuccine alfredo, salad
    pork fried rice
    turkey dinner
    leftover turkey dinner
    turkey soup and buns

  11. #10
    Tina Bob
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    I figured I should plan my breakfast menu too:

    Waffles
    Gingerbread waffles
    Chocolate waffles
    Apple and Blueberry pancakes
    Egg muffins
    Quiche Muffins
    Breakfast Burritos
    Oatmeal
    Homemade granola
    Toast
    Muffins
    Apples, oranges or bananas

    I will do a breakfast OAMC with some of the above items. That way I won't have to have so many eggs in the fridge

    Lunches will mostly be leftovers from the suppers. In case there isn't any leftover, not likely to happen, I do have tuna to mix up for sandwiches and there's always tomato soup, boxed mac and cheese, or Mr Noodles.

    Now to start my grocery list.....it's going to be long

  12. #11
    Registered User hollyhill's Avatar
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    I am in too Tina! I want to be finished by the end of the month too! And thank-you for the menu ideas.

    Tina I have a few questions....which of your menu items (if any )do you make ahead and freeze? And when do you put up your Christmas decorations?
    And Jennifer- How do you make your calenders?
    My goals are to 1)stay within my budget $350.00
    2) to have all the gifts purchased by Nov. 30.
    3) to freeze 2 weeks worth of meals by Nov.30
    4) Christmas is here this year. Have it all planned and ready to go.

    Gifts I already have.
    Dh., 2 nephews
    a fleece jacket for DD.
    Still need to purchase for DS (CD's), DD's (Ballet tickets) and stocking stuffers for all 3. Children are getting very little this Christmas, because DD needed a larger violin, DS needed a guitar and DD needed a racing paddle.
    Gifts for MiL- and my mother
    Sil, Sister, Bil, Nephew, Neice are all getting movie gift baskets (popcorn and treats and either movie tickets or Video rental GC's all bought with points) or Bath baskets.
    Bil- is getting tim horton gift pack.
    I also have some additional GC's that I am giving to some needy families. I want to help others the way we were helped last year.
    That will be the biggest part of my christmas budget.
    $25-50 each for 4 families.

    Small gifts for some wonderful supportive teachers , coaches and mentors- useful items or GC's $2 to $15 each.

    I want to order as much as I can over the net.

  13. #12
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    Tina,

    Great idea to plan your menus ahead of time! Mine are fairly simple:

    Breakfasts:
    ~ pancakes
    ~ waffles
    ~ toast, almond butter, jam
    ~ any of the above with egg
    ~ mango lassi
    ~ Banana-strawberry smoothie
    ~ cream of wheat with berries and milk
    ~ puffed wheat or rice with berries and milk
    ~ lf muffins with lf cheese melted on top.
    ~ fruit with any of the above.
    ~ fruit with yogurt...and any of the above.
    ~ French toast

    Lunches are
    ~ leftovers
    ~ hummus and veggies and crackers
    ~ fruit and yogurt
    ~ cucumber sandwiches
    ~ avocado sandwiches

    Suppers (variations of the following)
    ~ pork chops, rice/potatoes/swt. potatoes/buckwheat, vegetables.
    ~ pork or chicken stir fry
    ~ chicken alfredo
    ~ seafood alfredo
    ~ homemade macaroni and cheese
    ~ Grampa stew
    ~ fish (salmon/whitefish), rice, vegetables.
    ~ Pea Tart (a pea and mint quiche)
    ~ hamburgers
    ~ Swedish meatballs, rice, veggies
    ~ Tuna fish surprise (curried tuna muffins with cream sauce)
    ~ Chicken ceasar salad
    ~ Cream peas on toast
    ~ homemade pizza
    ~ hamburger hash
    ~ ham for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (no one likes turkey but me)
    ~ stuffed baked potatoes

    Jean

  14. #13
    Tina Bob
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    Hollyhill - Only a few items are made ahead and frozen. Breakfast items I prepare ahead are waffles, egg muffins (I should have listed these as scrabbled egg muffins), quiche muffins and breakfast burritos. I'm not freezing many of the supper items. This year I don't really need to as I'm home most afternoons. I will cook up the ground beef and freeze to make some meals quicker and I freeze my stuffed potatoes. I think the only other items will prepare ahead are the lazy lasagna casserole, the meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, and maybe a soup. Last year I didn't have anything frozen ahead but I learned I did need a couple frozen items to keep me from being tempted to pick up a pizza or something. Sometimes we were playing a game or watching a movie and I didn't want to stop to make dinner. I've also planned 8 meals from Cooking for the Rushed by Sandy Richards. Her meals are very quick and easy. Lots of 30 minutes from start to finish dinners. Margery told me about her cookbooks and they're great.

  15. #14
    Tina Bob
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    Jean, your menu looks awesome!

  16. #15
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    Thanks Tina. It's been a bit of a challenge for me this fall. While most of my weird side effects to medication have disappeared, I seem to be developing food sensitivities/allergies. Soy, onions, oats and pepper are on my list of foods to avoid. It's hard trying to avoid soy and onions. My winter menu used to have onions in everything! I'm going to experiment with soup without onions. I'm used to having a soup night once or twice a week during winter.

    Jean

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